DThe Rotary Club of Cleveland presented its annual Don’t Meth with Me program to approximately 750-800 fifth-graders in Cleveland and Tarkington on Feb. 5-6. Topics included goals, choices and methamphetamines.
Rotarian speakers were Amanda Brooks, Scott Lambert, Ernestine Belt, Tasha Childress; and speaker Ladd Hight with the Liberty County Extension Service. Other Rotary participants were Eisha Jones, Dr. Darrell Myers, West Smith and Tommie Daniel.
Students were shown a picture of a woman who decided to try meth. She had dreams and goals, and then made the choice to try meth. She could be anybody, Mom, doctor, anything she wanted to be. Instead, she tried meth.
“It does not matter who you are when you start using meth, how old you are, how pretty, how rich, skinny or fat. Meth reaches in and grabs your dreams and pulls them out,” said Tommie Daniel, Rotary Club secretary. “Only 3 percent of the people who become addicted to meth are able to get off of it.”
What is Meth? It’s made of chemicals that a person should never want to put in their body – paint thinner, Drano, lye, starter fluid and fertilizer. A student wearing a hazmat suit helped identify these chemicals. Because of the dangerous chemical combination, a hazmat suit must be worn while cleaning up and removing meth from a house where it has been cooked.
Students were shown slides of a brain on meth, meth mouth and meth sores that show the effect that methamphetamines have on the body. Some meth is made to look like candy (strawberry meth) and it even tastes like candy. According to information the Rotary Club presented, eight out of 10 people who try meth become a meth addict.
A letter written by a student concerning the effects that meth had on her family was read to students. Fortunately, for the writer, her parents were finally able to overcome their addiction to meth.
Throughout the presentation, students were asked, “What will you say when you are asked to try meth?” Their unanimous response was “I am the future. Don’t meth with me!”